We’ll be the first to admit, here at Build Your Own WP, we’re a bit biased towards WordPress (we think it’s the best). Though we’ve build websites on a number of other platforms, WordPress is our CMS (content management system) of choice for every project we undertake, and the first CMS we recommend to most new clients (and family members, and friends, and readers of this website…).
What is WordPress?
WordPress is a content management system on which you can create websites, blogs and more! It is a free service to use, because the code behind the platform open source – meaning it is maintained by individuals around the world, and NOT actually owned by a company.
What does this mean for you? Well, first and foremost, it means that if you choose to build your site with WordPress, you won’t be paying a hefty monthly fee to rent out the codebase that your site is built on. You won’t be locked into a specific pricing tier that scales as your site’s needs scale (ahem, Squarespace). And when you want to use third-party integrations, you won’t typically have to pay monthly fees for each app you choose, for the life of your site (as with Shopify, for example).
Not only is WordPress more affordable (and scalable) than most, if not all other platforms, but it’s actually easier to work with as well (despite what you may have heard!).
Certain platforms that market themselves as simple to work with are really anything but (we’re looking at you, Wix) – and they don’t even let you touch the page template files, or do any serious custom editing to the aesthetics of your design. This may not be a dealbreaker for you now, but down the road, as your business grows, and you need to scale your site, this will matter. And thanks to the prevalence of visual page builders crafted specifically for the WordPress platform (Divi and Elementor are the two that really excel here), you can build your own website – on WordPress – without knowing how to code at all.
Another consideration is functionality, or what you need your site to be able to do. Though other platforms are working on growing their list of integrations, WordPress has a thriving community of plugin developers (they’ve been around for literally decades!), creating both free and paid solutions for virtually every use case you could possibly encounter.
And, as over one third of the internet is powered by WordPress, this should come as no surprise – there’s a huge market for plugins to solve all sorts of business and website related issues on WordPress sites! There’s also an amazing community of free WordPress assistance resources (just like this one) out there, to help guide you from novice to expert – so don’t be intimidated, give the platform a try! With free themes and plugins available to start you off with, what do you have to lose?
We did also want to mention that WordPress.com and WordPress.org are two very different things. Often times, people confuse the two, and don’t know which one to use. Here at BYOWP, we are only talking about WordPress.org. We’ll get into more about the differences another time, but if you are looking for advice on how to set up a WordPress.com website, you may need to look elsewhere. Automattic, the parent company behind WordPress, has recently expanded on the capabilities of the WordPress.com platform, so some of our tips may be relevant to you (as will our non-WordPress specific writings), but just know that we wrote everything WordPress-centric here with the .org version of the software in mind.